Something unexpected comes up which forces you to change your holiday plans. You think: How am I going to work round this? What are my options? Why does this always happen to me? My plans are all ruined. Someone congratulates you on a piece of work you've done. You say: Thanks. I'm pleased with what I did. Thanks, but it wasn't that good. And then you tell them about the aspects that didn't go so well. At work, you are asked to join a team working on an interesting project. You know that the first person to be asked to join the team was unavailable. You think: Great! This will be an interesting opportunity and it'll be my chance to show what I can do. They only asked me because the other person couldn't do it. It wouldn't have occurred to them to ask me first. In elections: I vote for who I think could make a difference; the person I believe will actually get things done. There's absolutely no point in voting. Things never change, all politicians are rubbish, and anyway, my vote won't make any difference whatsoever. Your company plans to dismiss 10% of its workforce on grounds of redundancy.

Your reaction to the news: I'm going to start thinking about what I might do next; I'll start finding out what other opportunities there might be. It's bound to be me. It's not fair. NO ONE SETS OUT TO become a habitual procrastinator--instead, we develop procrastination as a method of coping with life's obligations. It might not be the best way of dealing with things, but for better or worse, it allows us to continue functioning. In a sense, habitual procrastination is akin to alcoholism because while no one ever sets out to become a problem drinker or to develop a drinking habit, it happens because no matter the downfall, drinking offers some degree of comfort, relief, and escape from life's obligations. Despite all the misery that such a lifestyle begets, the alcoholic grasps his lifestyle in the same manner with which he clings to his bottle, because no matter the consequences--comfort, relief, and escape are all that he believes he needs. Problem drinkers sometimes find their way into treatment for one reason or another. It might have been a court-ordered mandate, or they could just find that a folding chair at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting offers more support than a tavern's barstool. However, not every problem drinker gets it on his first time around. Sadly, sometimes the saying, "Better the devil you know, than the devil you don't" holds true. Why is this the case? One reason is because we're human, and in spite of whatever might be best for us, or our best intentions, we can slip back into familiar ways that while negative, may hold us in their spell of attraction. Just as no social drinker ever sets out to become an alcoholic, no one who puts off a task ever intends to become a habitual procrastinator. Unfortunately, it happens all the same. So what are we frail humans to do? Sometimes, the only thing you can do is to lick your wounds, and then re-commit to working on yourself. Follow all recommended treatment. If you are on medication, keep taking it as prescribed. Discontinuing medication abruptly can be extremely dangerous, even if you feel it isn't working.

Also, if you have gone through psychotherapy, use the techniques you have learned to help get your mood under control. See your doctor if your current treatment isn't working. Join a support group. If you have already been in treatment, you likely already know where to go to find individual or group counseling in your community. You can also try online resources, including chat rooms or online group support such as the ones listed in the appendix. Rely on your family and friends for help. Many depressed people who experience a relapse may be reluctant to tell family or friends what is happening because they don't want to be a burden or they are afraid of being rejected. More likely than not, the people in your life will already be aware that something is wrong and want to help. Keep a journal. Many people dealing with depression find that writing down what they are thinking on a daily basis can help them keep a clear head. Be careful with your computer. Not only can regular use of social media sites such as Facebook add to your depression, but many depressed people are especially vulnerable to using online sites as a way of shutting out the real world. Are you taking the time you need to work on yourself, emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually? If so, how? Do you remember the last time you and your partner went on a date? Or a getaway? Or a vacation? What's stopping you from going on one? And where would you go? If you have to move forward from an abusive situation, are you ready to transform your life through self-care, by tapping into your deep beauty for inner strength?

You trip over and twist your ankle. You think: Oh no! Still, it could've been worse, at least I didn't break my ankle. That'll teach me! I knew I shouldn't have sneaked off work today; I thought something would go wrong. It's my punishment. When choosing from the menu at a restaurant: I usually find it quite easy to decide what to eat. I often regret my choice and wish I'd chosen something else. You do better than you expected to in a test or exam. You think That's great! I don't know how that happened. It was a fluke. You work for a small company that's rapidly expanding. Your boss is leaving - you'd love her job. You: Ask her advice about applying for her job. Decide you can't say anything - you'll have to wait to be asked to apply. You have to be at work at 9:00am. It is 8:45am and you're still waiting in a traffic jam. You think: I need to call and let work know that I'm running late. At least that important meeting isn't till 9:30am.

I shouldn't have taken this route! Now the whole day is going to turn out wrong. You've always wanted to work part time so that you can write a novel/train as a singer/yoga teacher. Now, thanks to your partner's recent pay rise and their encouragement, you can just about afford to do it. You: Start making plans. Dismiss the idea. Supposing the novel is crap, you are no good at singing or no one comes to your yoga classes? Changing away from a long-held habit like procrastination isn't as easy as changing from one pair of shoes to another. While there may be days when you fall back into old ways, should you string a few of those days together, you may soon feel as if the method is no longer working. Changing from life as a habitual procrastinator--into a "do"-er takes time, practice, and, above all else, the willingness to stick with the process. What follows are some of the most common situations that cause habitual procrastinators to stumble on the road to recovery. We'll also discuss suggestions for overcoming these trip hazards. As recovering procrastinators, one of our greatest potential setbacks is our penchant for expecting more from ourselves than is reasonable for particular situations. We suffer from this problem because our past habit of procrastination has shaped the ways in which we perceive our tasks. Even if we eliminate procrastination to the best of our abilities, our old ways can still occasionally crop up in our thoughts, especially when a task seems complicated or boring. Here are some examples of our self-talk when we react to our tasks with unrealistic expectations: "It's going to take forever to get done!" "I cleaned all morning, but there's still more to do." "I've got too much to get done, it's no use!" "Only I could get so behind on things." We always need to remember to focus on what's in front of us, rather than looking at the big picture, which is how we looked at our tasks in the past. On the occasions when we find that we've slipped back into our old ways of thinking, we need to stop, and take a moment to think up an internal rebuttal to the thoughts that pollute our minds and stop us from taking action. Here are those same thoughts from the above examples, along with positive rebuttals to those thoughts: Avoid making life-altering decisions. Depression has a way of distorting judgment, and more often than not, you are going to end up regretting making hasty decisions that will likely haunt you later on. Don't blame yourself for feeling depressed.